Patient referrals: Views of health care providers from secondary and primary care settings in Hong Kong

Mei Sheung Christine CHAN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The Community Nursing Service (CNS) in Hong Kong has been seen as an integral part of the health care delivery services, aiming to provide continuing nursing care to patients in their home environments after discharge from hospital (Hong Kong Health Authority, 1993). Aims of the study: This paper reports on service providers’ perceptions of patient referrals to Community Nursing Services (CNS). Subjects included hospital providers as the CNS casereferees and community nurses and community doctors as the direct care providers. Design/methods: A quantitative methodology with data triangulation was employed involving the use of multiple data sources with similar focus. Using a semi-structured questionnaire and structured questionnaire to collect data from different groups: doctors (n=473), senior nurses (n=1194) and allied health workers (n=472) from secondary care setting of 11 public hospital, and community nurses (n=219) and outpatients doctors (n=182) from primary health care setting of 17 Community Nursing Stations throughout the city. Data was analysed using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) computer software. Findings: The results indicated that health care providers of secondary care setting held different beliefs and practices about patient referrals from health workers of primary health care settings. The direct care providers, community nurses and community doctors had little opportunity involving in decision making on patients referrals which they hope to have more autonomy and appropriate involvement. Hospital doctors and senior nurses were highly involved in making the decision for patients but not the allied health workers. The implication is that a dominant medical orientation of home-based patients care is existed. It remains in the procedures and monitoring of patient referrals, between the interface of secondary and primary health care settings. Conclusion: A multidisciplinary team approach is suggested to the future development of the Community Nursing Service in Hong Kong. Intended learning outcomes: At the end of the session, participants will be able to: • Understand the Community Nursing Service in Hong Kong as an example of health care delivery development in a British colonial society • Be aware of the difficulties of multidisciplinary team approach to health care delivery as patient referrals in the Community Nursing Service
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2002



Chan, C. (2002, April). Patient referrals: Views of health care providers from secondary and primary care settings in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 2002 Annual International Nursing Research Conference, Exeter, Devon, England.